Music & Truth

Art Cannot Be Reduced to Parts; Neither Can You

On the level of simple physics, music is the reverberation of pitches or tones that pulsate at so many wavelengths per second. The standard "A 440 hertz," which in Western musical practice has become the default pitch by which all orchestras "tune," is a pitch that reverberates a musical tone at 440 wavelengths per second. Every other pitch, or note, thereby has its own standard wavelength, all in relation to A 440.

Yet if one were to limit music simply to the level of tonal wavelengths, music itself would make no sense, and would be literally incomprehensible. To illustrate, imagine translating the whole of Beethoven's 9th Symphony into the digital codes used by a...

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #17, Summer 2011 Copyright © 2020 Salvo |


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